Heavenly Ski Resort ready to open Friday in Lake Tahoe

Opening-Day-Blog

Opening Day is Friday at Heavenly Ski Resort! The countdown to the 2014-2015 ski and ride season is almost over.

The first skiers and riders of the season will load the Heavenly Gondola at 9 a.m. Get here early and stay late- they’ll be raffling off free snowboards, skis, Smith goggles, and a GoPro in the Gondola line and at Unbuckle.

The Gondola and Tamarack Express will give access to 14 acres and 1.5 miles of skiable terrain on California Trail to Tamarack Return. For park fanatics, there will be a variety of terrain park features on the left side of California Trail.

Ski and ride school will offer a few different lesson options. For specifics on what those products are, give our school a call at 1-800-HEAVENLY, press 7.

Heavenly’s snowmaking team has been hard at work making snow whenever the wet bulb temperature allows, and our grooming team has taken advantage of the huge whales (piles) of snow to cover the trails and prep the lift ramps and access areas for opening.

Opening Day kicks off at 8 a.m. at the bottom of the Gondola in Heavenly Village with a live DJ, the Heavenly Angels, giveaways, and free Heavenly Donuts. Get there early because the first 100 guests will get Heavenly Swag and will be entered into a pre-opening raffle for a pair of skis or snowboard.

At the first Unbuckle at Tamarack après party of the season at 3:30 p.m., the first 100 guests will also receive a raffle ticket for a pair of skis or snowboard, a GoPro and Smith goggles, as well as Hard Rock Hotel and Casino swag.

The California Base Lodge will be available for free parking. We will be running free shuttles every 20 minutes between the Cal Base and the Gondola.

 

New nonstop service from London to Lake Tahoe ski resorts

In partnership with Ski Lake Tahoe, Thomas Cook Airlines has today announced the UK’s first non-stop air service, from London Gatwick (LGW) to Reno (RNO), with the first flights taking place in December 2015.

The twice weekly service to Reno from Gatwick, opening up a host of ski holidays for UK travellers, departs on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  The flights begin on Dec. 19, 2015 and runs until 9th April 2016.

“It’s fantastic news that we’re able to offer skiers from the UK the first ever non-stop flights to Reno-Tahoe, opening Lake Tahoe as a real option for their winter break.  On top of our new routes to Miami and New York next summer and our brand new Premium cabin, we’re leading the way in offering a quality experience at great prices for the discerning traveller heading to the USA,” said Christoph Debus, CEO, Thomas Cook Airlines.

Andy Wirth, the Vice Chairman of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, said the combination of incredible skiing and Reno-area casinos will make the new flight a unique and unforgettable experience for travellers.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Thomas Cook Airlines and Great Britain to the Reno-Tahoe International Airport,” Wirth said “With this unparalleled nonstop convenience and a world class travel partner in Thomas Cook, this flight really opens up one of the best skiing markets in the world, the United Kingdom, to Lake Tahoe and the great casinos and night life of Reno.”

Reno-Tahoe International Airport is one the closest airports to major ski resorts in North America. Passengers can see ski runs from the airport’s runways upon landing and it is a quick 45 minute to 1-hour drive from airport baggage claim to the ski lifts. The flight will be contingent upon approval of landing rights by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Lake Tahoe is where North America’s largest concentration of World-class ski resorts lie within majestic mountains featuring jaw-dropping cliffs, serene glades and stunning views.

Skiers can choose from Heavenly, Kirkwood, Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe, Northstar California, Sierra-at-Tahoe and Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows.  With 400 inches of snow a year and over 600 unparalleled runs with 113 lifts on 17,000 acres, Lake Tahoe is a skiing and snowboarding paradise, with endless ways to have fun après ski.

Thomas Cook Airlines has recently released further details of its new cabin experience for customers on its Airbus A330 long haul fleet, with brand new Economy and Premium services bringing a great value product to long haul customers on its flights from May 2015.  To view a film of the new Thomas Cook Airlines cabins click here.

Christoph Debus continued, “Our brand new long haul Economy cabins and service will challenge perceptions of our airline, and our new Premium will ensure skiers can experience a great range of services, flying in style to their winter break in Lake Tahoe.”

Starting this week, holidays and flights to Reno/Lake Tahoe on refurbished A330 aircraft – including the new Premium service – can be booked via www.thomascookairlines.com and www.thomascook.com,

Heavenly Mountain making snow for Nov. 21 opening

In addition to 2” of natural snow during the weekend, Heavenly Mountain Resort has fired up the West Coast’s largest and most powerful snowmaking system and has begun making snow in anticipation of a Nov. 21 opening day.

The snowmaking system ran for seven hours over night Sunday, blowing snow at the top of the Gondola, as well as on California Trail, Orion and Tamarack return.

“Cold temperatures and natural snowfall have been building the buzz around the upcoming season, and now that snowmaking has begun, we are full steam ahead with more than four decades of snowmaking experience and expertise at our backs,” said Pete Sonntag, vice president and COO of Heavenly. “We will open on November 21 with the some of the best snow surface conditions at Lake Tahoe.”

Heavenly’s extensive snowmaking system is capable, under optimum conditions, of producing three-and-a-half feet of snow across one acre in an hour and can cover 73 percent of the resort’s 97 trails in machine-made snow.

Heavenly is expanding its snowmaking capabilities this season by adding snowmaking to Easy Street, a beginner run at the top of the Gondola. A spur line has also been added from the top of Dipper Express that allows Heavenly to make snow on Skyline Trail near the top of Milky Way Bowl.

This will make it possible to open Skyline Trail earlier in the season and provide skiers and riders access to both California and Nevada earlier than ever before.

The resort also added three new fan guns to the fleet, increasing the total number of energy efficient fan guns the resort has to 67. These new SMI Puma fan guns are more energy efficient and also more efficient on the production side.

Heavenly kicks off the 2014-15 ski and ride season on Friday, November 21, with opening day and the first Unbuckle at Tamarack après party of the season.

Unbuckle takes place daily from 3:30-5:30 p.m. with a live DJ, half-priced drinks, giveaways, food specials, lots of dancing and, exclusively on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the lovely Heavenly Angels.

The party continues with Winter Ignite on the weekends of December 5-6 and 12-13, culminating in a free concert by Young The Giant in Heavenly Village on December 13 at 7:00 p.m.

Winter Ignite will jumpstart the 2014-2015 ski and ride season with pop-up DJ Cat and Unbuckle après kick-off parties, the Pretty Faces movie premier and comedy from Daniel Tosh at MontBleu Resort Casino and Spa on Friday, December 12. For more information, go to skiheavenly.com/winterignite.

Fly like a zephyr while snowmobiling at Lake Tahoe

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Photos courtesy of Zephyr Cove Resort

By Richard Irwin
Savvy Skier

Powering through the snow, we entered a washed out world of grays and off-whites. We felt as if we were riding in the clouds, which we were, cruising at 9,000 feet in the crisp, cold air of the High Sierras.

Some riders were disappointed that we wouldn’t be able to see the crystal blue waters of Lake Tahoe below us, but the surreal scenery made me glad that we had taken a day off skiing to try this snowmobile tour with Zephyr Cove Resorts.

The gray mist even muffled the sounds of the powerful snow machines. We glided silently through the High Sierra glades.

The towering pines looked like pieces of art, decoratively layered with crisp, white snow. It seemed more a dream than reality.

After a week of skiing and snowboarding in the many resorts around Tahoe, we were ready to try something different. Maybe even a little less strenuous to give our sore muscles a chance to rest.

Everyone agreed on snowmobiling, so we checked out the tours available from South Lake Tahoe and picked Zephyr Cove Resort. The tours leave from the resort, which is only four miles into Nevada from the state line.

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